Friday, December 29, 2006

Guess What - Part 3

For the past year or so, I have been growing my hair out for Locks of Love, and organization that takes hair donation to make wigs for people (children, I think) who have lost their hair due to cancer or other diseases. To qualify, you must have 10 inches of hair to cut and donate. For the past few months, I have been pulling back my hair (sometimes straightening it with a blow dryer even) and having Jim measure it to see how much longer I had to go.

I recently discovered that Pantene accepts donations of hair that are 8 inches or more. This was great news to me because I had 8 inches! (9 to be more exact). So yesterday I called my hair dresser, Kathleen and told her I was ready. Fortunately she had an appointment today at 4! I was a bit nervous, but I love it! I think if I had waited much longer, they would have had to throw it out instead of using it for a wig (which hopefully they can). And just think how much I will save on hair products.

Guess What - Part 2




Guess What - Part 1

Anyone know what this means...?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Maddie on the Move

Anyone who has tried to photograph a young child will appreciate this photo sequence. Every decent photo that ends up on our blog represents several others that were taken and discarded. Now that Madelyn can crawl, we find it even more of a challenge to get a good shot...and that Santa dress was so cute!

Not quite what I was hoping for

Where's Maddie?

There she goes again

Let's check out this tree

Anon tries to help

Made you blink

I think I'll come see you, mom

Can you reach with the other arm, Madelyn?

Getting closer...

Finally, a decent shot!

Anyone who has tried to photograph a young child will appreciate this photo sequence. Every decent photo that ends up on our blog represents several others that were taken and discarded. Now that Madelyn can crawl, we find it even more of a challenge to get a good shot...and that Santa dress was so cute!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Just a few photos of our Christmas morning...

Our tradition is to give the kids three presents each to symbolize the three gifts Jesus received from the magi. With the plethora of gifts from grandparents, uncles, aunts and friends, they don't feel like they're missing anything, I guarantee.

Madelyn received a set of hat a mittens, a Boz DVD,
and a set of Tupperware sippy cups with lids.

Elisha opened a set of hat and mittens,
a Larry-Boy Car, and a telescope.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Madelyn Standin'

Madelyn has been trying to pull up for awhile now. She might have succeeded more often if her overprotective mother would let her try more without worrying about her falling down or losing her balance and hitting her chin or head. I tried to capture a photo yesterday but ended up with a bunch of her holding on to furniture but never standing. This morning provided a new opportunity and I did it. What a big (little) girl! :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Our Dictatorship: When The Majority Doesn't Rule

I feel like a goof...asking you all for your vote and not going with the majority; but I just couldn't do it. The outside photo had the perfect background and all, but it wasn't the best picture of our family (of any of us, actually). I like this one, and it looks even better after a couple of adjustments in PhotoShop (less contrast to tone down the glare on our faces and cropping out our feet). So, you can either print out our family card like Kelley suggested (hilarious) or wait to see if you get one in the mail. Don't hold your breath because they might not get mailed out for a week or so. :)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Mustang

Jim's brother came to visit two weekends ago
and drove his cool new Mustang up from Texas.
Thank goodness Elisha can only pose in the front seat!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

All Dressed Up

Just to give credit (and advertising) where credit is due, our friend and photographer Christy Miller captured these photos of the kids - an amazing feat considering it was after a morning at church and before lunch. The photography is great, but it's sad that this was the best we could get Elisha to smile and pose. Of course, this was also after a couple dozen family shots, so maybe I shouldn't complain. I'm still thinking of appropriate captions for some...

"Classic" Madelyn

"Classic" Elisha

Just to give credit (and advertising) where credit is due, our friend and photographer Christy Miller captured these photos of the kids - an amazing feat considering it was after a morning at church and before lunch. The photography is great, but it's sad that this was the best we could get Elisha to smile and pose. Of course, this was also after a couple dozen family shots, so maybe I shouldn't complain. I'm still thinking of appropriate captions...

Cast Your Vote (Please)

Which photo should be reprinted as the official
"Womack Family Christmas Card 2006"?
(notice Madelyn is not smiling in any of them...)

A: Outside with Evergreen

B: Inside with flash (I guess that's why it's brighter)

C: Inside with natural light (again, my guess)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Little Houdini

We arrived home one evening and noticed Madelyn looked a bit "different" in her car seat. Upon further inspection, we discovered she had somehow managed to pull her arm out of her sleeve (especially amazing to us since our three year old often "can't" get his arms out of his sleeves), but even more incredible considering she was strapped in her car seat. I guess a parent should never underestimate the hidden talents of their children...

And then there is the ever-popular "toe in the mouth" move - quite impressive! (Just try to do it yourself!)

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Month Before Christmas

In anticipation of the fast approaching holiday season...
“The Month Before Christmas”
by Jaena Womack

‘Twas the month before Christmas and all through the town,
Every person was busy – no joy to be found.

With their calendars full and great plans made with care,
They knew that the holidays soon would be there.

I’m all ready to go, with my red Santa’s cap
Though I’d rather hole up for a long winter’s nap!

The family is coming for turkey and pie;
There is work to be done; there are groceries to buy:

Cranberries, plum pudding, mincemeat and hams,
Flour, sugar, eggnog, marshmallows, and yams,

Cashews and pretzels and chocolate for dipping,
And full-caffeine hazelnut coffee for sipping,

I can’t forget ice cream -- six quarts, Neopolitan --
Good grief! I may need a sleigh just to haul it in!

Yes, it’s happened again: preparations gone wild,
And I’m half-Martha Stewart half-Julia Child.

Yet there’s still more to do! Let me show you my list –
I have shopping and wrapping and my kids insist

That we spend one whole day finding just the right tree,
Then we finally select one at least nine foot three

Which we drag to our house through the ice and the sleet…
(Never mind that our ceiling is only eight feet.)

Now it’s off to the mall for a fourteen-hour sale
With holiday coupons received in the mail.

With such bargains around…well, it isn’t too hard
To max out my VISA and Discover card.

So I head for our home with my presents in tow
And if this year is much like the past years, I know

As I pull in the driveway and walk through the door,
I’ll be greeted by sounds of my husband’s loud snore.

My children have fallen asleep on their beds
With clothes still on bodies and hats still on heads.

I grab the remote and turn off the TV,
Collapse on the couch, almost too tired to see…

I’ve run myself ragged with plans so sublime
Now I ask, “What’s the point? Is it all worth my time?”

In the silence I treasure a brief interlude;
My thoughts become clear, and I humbly conclude

That it’s not in the presents wrapped under the tree,
It’s not in the friends or the family you see,

Of course it’s not Rudolph or old Santa Claus,
Or donating money to some worthy cause.

No, it all traces back to the night long ago…
To the mother and child and the story we know

But we often forget as we bustle around,
The true meaning of Christmas can only be found

In the birth of a baby – the long-promised king
Who caused shepherds to wonder and angels to sing.

That’s why we celebrate, though some don’t know,
Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, and so…

What I whisper aloud as I turn out the light
Is not, “Merry Christmas, to all a good night.”

Rather “Glory to God in the highest” and then
“Peace on the earth and good will to all men.”

Friday, November 10, 2006

Animal School

I rarely forward email messages because they are usually urband legend stories or sappy anecdotes. My aunt sent me the link to this video a couple of days ago, and Jim and I watched it. All I could say was "Wow." Just click on the purple box; it takes about 5 minutes to watch. Let me know what you think.

Friday, November 03, 2006

My Favorite Frog

Interestingly enough, Elisha had planned to be a bee (a bumblebee to be precise) all week. It wasn't until it came time to put on his costume that he changed his mind and decided to be a frog. Fortunately, we had two 3T costumes that we were recycling for the third year in a row. (We got them on sale at Old Navy right before Halloween the year Elisha was born. Their original price was around $20 each, and I think we got them for $7 a piece!) We spent the majority of our time at IWU's Harvest Party, followed by short visits to a few family members. (Sorry we missed you, Uncle Terry and Aunt Betty. We wanted to come over, but couldn't make it.)
Elisha the frog (or frog prince, perhaps...see story below).

A silly Elisha with my cousin and her husband.
(I should probably ask before I post their names on the internet.)

Elisha bugging his cousin Anna (at least they are both smiling).

A final story: Emily Lamb dressed up as Cinderella and told her mom, Julie, that Elisha would be her prince. Ironically he was...her frog prince! If we only had a crown.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Madelyn's Movie Debut

Here's a fun clip of Madelyn's latest "amazing" abilities...words, funny faces, and more! Just for the record, she can say "Mama."

Fall Field Trip

There's something about visiting a pumpkin patch or apple orchard in the fall. Breathing in the crisp air, smelling the sweetness of apples and straw, hearing the combines and tractors harvesting in the fields. I love it!

Above are some photos from our recent trip to Hainlen's Orchard a couple of weekends ago. We went with the Lambs, who were gracious enough to still call us friends even after we led them on a wild goose chase through Swayzee, Sweetser, and finally back to Swayzee again, looking for the signs that would tell us where to turn. (In our defense, we think the signs have been removed...) Juile's dad saved the day (and our outing) by providing directions that did, indeed, lead us to the desired location. (Thanks, Mr. Gafford!) And once we got there, a good time was had by all!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Full Time Volunteer

When someone asks me what I do now, my first response is that I am a stay-at-home-mom. This makes sense to me since I am not employed outside the home and I am primarily responsible for the care of our two children (while Jim is at work, at least).

My husband Jim, on the other hand, mentioned recently that he does not think this is an accurate answer. He belives that I am a full time volunteer. Not that he would actually say this to anyone expect me, but the idea got me thinking..."How much do I really stay at home?" and "How much of my time is spent volunteering?"

In my true task-oriented, left-brained fashion, I made a list.

My current weekly "outside the home meetings" include the following:

Sunday - attend church and possibly help in our venue "The Blend" if I make it on time and/or can leave Madelyn in the nursery
Monday - Usually an 8AM meeting about CWC Assimilation or Small Groups
Tuesday - MOMS Bible Study at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church (wonderul & I definitely recommend this to any mom "out there")
Wednesday - Teach Good News Club and lead class at ClubSplash
Thursday - MOPS or MOPS Steering Team meeting (3 out of 4 weeks), Ladies Small Group
Friday, Saturday - No regularly scheduled commitments unless you count trying to have a date night or family time

Along with that I have the following leadership committments:
MOPS Steering Team member: Creative Activities Co-coordintor
Member of Assimilation Planning Team at CWC
Member of CAT (Creative Arts Team) at CWC
Member of WMCR (Wesleyan Married Couples Retreat) Planning Team
Treasurer of CEF (Child Evangelism Committee) Committee: although I just resigned from that effective end of 2006 due to our other responsibilities
Director of KFC (Kids For Christ) Camp
Mini-job record keeping for friend's company

Balanced with Jim's schedule:
Work at Admissions
Lead a venue at CWC
Teach an adult Sunday School Class at CWC
Teach a Bible class at Lakeview (two days a week, starting next week)
Serve on Children's Board of Directors at CWC
Member of WMCR (Wesleyan Married Couples Retreat) Planning Team (we count these meetings as a date night!)

Whew! I am tired just reading this. On the other hand, it is also therapeutic; and I have made a few observations about my volunteering tendencies:
  • I should stay away from anything that uses letters as an acronym to represnt itself: CEF, CWC, WMCR, KFC, etc...
  • Deb wrote awhile back about how we all have the same amount of time but may chose to spend it differently. I think we also have the same potential for stress, and different things may or may not "stress out" different people. The jury is still out at this point on whether of not I am "stressed out."
  • While some days it seems like everything is going along calmly, when things do get busy, they seems to get really busy (like overwhelmingly busy); and I haven't yet figured out how to fix that.
  • I love to volunteer. I believe it is because one of my spiritual gifts is helps. (Is that bragging? It's just a factual result of those gifts tests.) Helping people is fulfilling to me, so I tend to find ways to do just that: help teach, help organize, help lead, help paint, help administrate (that's another of my gifts, by the way: administation). When I look at my involvement in this light, it can be an act of worship.
  • On the other hand, I heard on the radio of a book on this topic that I don't want to read because it would probably say that *being* is better than *doing*. It's titled something like Having a Mary Mindset in a Martha World. I probably should get it, but I get tired of Martha always getting a bad rap (and I don't mean Martha Stewart.) I could go on, but this could be another post by itself.

Bottom Line: I am feeling like I need to evaluate what I do and why I do it. I can then reprioritize my time and make sure that I am putting first things first and so on.

Do any of you have suggestions for this process? How do you discern where to invest your time? I mean, let's face it, we could all volunteer our lives away for any number of valuable causes...what are the determining factors in your life?

Disclaimer: To anyone who reads who may be a recipient of my volunteering or helps, please do not read anything into this post. It is mostly a journal-type entry of my thoughts and processing. I am not trying to send any hidden messages or make anyone feel bad or guilty. :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My New Best Friend

No, my new best friend is not a's this amazing website I have been frequenting lately. I have often used Google to find a recipe, but Kraft foods has a site where you can type in the ingredients you have, and it will list a number of recipes that use those ingredients.

Today, for instance, I had an opened can of cherry pie filling that I needed to use, cream cheese and Cool Whip. I typed in the ingredients and "voilla" an assortment of recipes appeared, including "Cherries in the Snow" which is pictured above. I have used this feature for a number of dishes now and have officially labeled it my new best friend. At least until something better comes along...

Monday, October 16, 2006

"Hair" Today, Gone Tomorrow

I know she's only a little over 9 months old, but Madelyn has had a section of hair on top of her head that has been growing since before she was born. It was cute for quite awhile; but once it started hanging down over her eyes, it got a bit annoying. Many friends suggested that I clip it back in one of those cute little barrettes, and I tried. But then she pulled it out...and I couldn't find it...and I started panicking, thinking she had swallowed it (until I found it hiding in a fold of her car seat). So, no more barrettes. The rest of our family had haircuts scheduled for this morning, so we decided to add Maddie to the experience. Goodbye mop on top!